Every spring, the week before Easter, I make it a point to study the events of “Passion Week.” I start with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and end with the two Marys discovering the empty tomb. My chronological Bible is a great tool for this since all the events are presented in order. Some are told in all four gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—but some details are recorded in only one. If you don’t have a chronological Bible, just Google “Passion Week Events” and you can get a reading guide of your very own.
I confess, I did not get all my “Easter reading” done in time this year so now I’m playing catch-up. This morning I covered the Lord’s/Last Supper and part of Jesus’ conversation with his guys after the meal.
As I read, I noticed something. Jesus was “all over the place” on that particular evening.
- He “designed” communion.
- He prophesied his death and resurrection.
- He predicted all of the disciples would fall away from him.
- He told his friends about heaven in the language of traditional Jewish weddings.
- He spoke of the Trinity and the Spirit to come.
That’s a whole lot of dinnertime conversation. And suddenly, I knew why.
Right when I had my epiphany, my son walked through the kitchen. I was excited so I shared my moment of clarity with him. Starting with its backstory.
A few weeks ago, I’d been discussing a section of the book of Mark with a friend at church. That friend said, “Did you see how ‘all over the place’ Jesus was in this passage?” And he pointed out a few examples of what he was referring to. I’m grateful for my friend’s comment because it allowed me to recognize the same thing this morning.
“Man, when Jesus was talking to his disciples at the Last Supper,” I told my son, “he was all over the place. I think I know why. It’s like when a parent goes off to war, or when someone is getting ready to pass away. They want to impart as much information and advice as they can to those they love. And because there’s so much they want to say, it pours out all willy-nilly. ‘I love you. You’re going to be okay. Remember me. I’ll always be with you.’”
My son nodded thoughtfully. “Makes sense.”
I think this is why studying the Bible with other believers is so important. They see things you don’t, and vice versa. As Proverbs 27:17 says:
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.